Proud Teammate

Last Saturday I woke up at the same time I do on any race day, but I was not racing. I woke up early for a much more important reason, to watch my teammate’s race.

 My famous belt-buckle made an appearance.

My famous belt-buckle made an appearance.

For the last year and half or so I have been a member of Team SFQ, the all-women’s triathlon team my coach and former professional triathlete Hillary Biscay and amateur athlete and fashion designer, Michele Landry started from their stylish and popular apparel line, Smashfest Queen. www.smashfestqueen.com. There are over 100 team members spanning all-across the globe, and every single one of these women is beautiful, tough, funny, and adventurous. Naturally, I fit right in. :)

 My amazing teammates. 

My amazing teammates. 

Therefore, when I learned that many of my teammates would be racing at a very popular triathlon just a couple hours south of me in lovely Oceanside, (a sleepy surfer town just north of San Diego), I pounced at the opportunity to cheer them on in person. Also, I wanted to practice my photography skills, so I volunteered to take photos.

 A view of the finish line from atop the pier.

A view of the finish line from atop the pier.

What I did not expect, honestly, my heart wasn’t ready for it, was to be blown away by the high-level of athleticism these women showcased all day. I felt humbled and inspired while watching them run their guts out with smiles on their faces and ferocity in their strides. It was so darn cool to witness. Plus, it was important for me to experience the point of view of the spectator, rather than my usual POV of the athlete. Indeed, on this Spring-time morning I was content to be the celebrator vs. the celebrated.

 Bridget Haga heading out on her first lap.

Bridget Haga heading out on her first lap.

Unfortunately, I did not capture a photo of every single one of them because they either ran by me too fast, I didn’t bring my camera up in time to my eye to shoot, I was distracted by my phone, or looking in the opposite direction, but I did catch a lot of them, and they all looked incredible.

 Professional triathlete Kelly O'Mara laying it down on the first lap.

Professional triathlete Kelly O'Mara laying it down on the first lap.

A few of the highlights were watching one of our teammates race her first pro race with authority, WOW! Two teammates win their very competitive age groups, we’re talking first place, top of the podium, BIG TIME, etc., Also, there were teammates who were getting back to racing after being away from it for over a year, others who battled through sickness all day, but still finished, and those that traveled from far off lands to test their fitness built from a long winter of training in the snow, sleet, and rain to battle against warm-blooded Californians. I was proud and amazed watching every single one them smash themselves in the lovely SoCal sun.

 Mary Knott, Women's 40 - 44 Age Group WINNER.

Mary Knott, Women's 40 - 44 Age Group WINNER.

and

 Lynne Fiedler, Women's 55 - 59 Age Group WINNER.

Lynne Fiedler, Women's 55 - 59 Age Group WINNER.

However, the real treat for me was to actually meet some of these ladies face to face, in person, rather than from our usual contact on social media. The fact was I considered many of them true friends, even though I had never actually met them in real life before. I believe that speaks to the fantastic women who are drawn to triathlon, and specifically to those that are drawn to Smashfest Queen. Personally, I am part of TeamSFQ because I thrive on working hard to achieve my goals. I want to suffer in training and racing, I like it, because it creates results, in everyday life and on the racecourse.

 Mary, Tina Moore, and Robin Pelton, with Kelly in the second row.

Mary, Tina Moore, and Robin Pelton, with Kelly in the second row.

Therefore, cheering for and laughing with like-minded ladies was both an honor and a fun way to spend the first day in April. I’d wake up early again for every single one of them. GO TEAM SFQ!!